overcoming finality on Acharacle graveyard
Death is final.
But some graveyards on closer inspection show sings of overcoming that ultimate finality.
Human endeavor is a powerful force that can last longer than a lifetime.
In a way everything on a graveyard is there to overcome finality: gravestones not only mark graves, they are solid reminders of a life gone but in many cases a life and a person not forgotten. Memory lasts. In that sense gravestones are solid memories, markers of more than a body.
In Acharacle even the yard itself is a memory and a testimony to human endeavour. The graveyard was extended a hundred years ago, with the willpower and strength of two men, a timber merchant named Morgan who (according to local sources) fell 50 massice trees with a saw and dragged them with a horse-drawn trailer to the pier in Salen. Donald Stewart then removed the roots with simple tools and horsepower.
An impressive work to this day and the result of that still shows a century later. A clear and open space for the memorial of the dead.
The people of Acharacle seem practical and hands-on in many ways. When their church was on the brink of collapse they built a new one. It took them eight years and cost about £ 200,000. A building project for future generations, right in the middle of past generations long gone.
They are people with a vision in Argyll claims the author Ian Bradley and calls the landscape of Argyll a spiritual one:
“What happened throughout thousands of years in Argyll was rather a constant process of re-interpreting and re-creating the sacred landscape informed by a strong sense of provisonality.”
On Acharacle graveyard the past points to the future, landscape and church have been re-created. If you call it spiritual or simply practical, in both cases it creates vision that can overcome the finality of death.
Ian Bradley: Argyll: The Making of a Spiritual Landscape; St Andrew Press, September 30, 2015, page 9